Fascinated by Flamenco … and Oaxacan Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

Friday night's cocktail dress
Friday night's cocktail dress
We’re back from our friends’ incredible wedding weekend in Oaxaca, Mexico.

We had a blast — went to the ruins of Monte Alban, saw the world’s biggest (widest) tree called El Tule, went to a live flamenco show, and walked, danced and ate our way through the beautiful city of Oaxaca.

I will spare you every little detail of our trip (I put pics up on Facebook last night if you’re interested, so you can see them there or try clicking here and here for the albums), but I would like to share two of the most relevant-to-this-blog scenarios.

oaxaca-1051
First, one night, we went to a live, outdoor flamenco show which was part of a cultural festival in the city of Oaxaca this past week and happened to be right near our hotel.

Watching the women dance flamenco (one pictured here), I realized that I wasn’t noticing their size so much as how they moved: so effortlessly, so beautifully, so boldly. Flamenco is demanding and, like tango, it’s hard to not be entranced watching someone dance it. I was mesmerized.

The women were beautiful and strong, curvy yet tight … and the fact that I was able to recognize this in that moment — versus envying what they have and what I lack — was truly a good feeling. I focused on that the rest of the night, and had a wonderful time. It was like I checked my body image issues at the proverbial door or something.

Second, at our friends’ wedding Saturday night, I ate a huge slice of cake, plus some of my husband’s … and I didn’t regret it one bit.

You see, Oaxaca is famous for its chocolate and its mole (of which mole is made) and this cake was a Oaxacan chocolate tres leches cake. In other words, heaven in my mouth. I wish I could do it justice in a description, or that I had a pic of it.

But I didn’t take one (was too busy eating!) and no words will adequately explain that delicious, moist/dense burst of milk and chocolate. Just know it was absolutely worth every bite.

Initially, I partitioned off half of the thick slice, and then ended up going back for more very deliberately and very consciously. It was that delicious and unlike, say, a Hershey’s bar which you could get anywhere, I knew that this dessert was a once-in-a-lifetime dessert. It wasn’t frosted (I love frosting of all kinds!), but had chocolate shavings on top that were delectable.

So I’d say two good things came out of this trip. One, despite being (and looking) much heavier than I’d like to, I felt comfortable in my own skin and didn’t compare myself to others. And two, I savored a dessert and lived to tell the tale.

I’m exhausted now and actually ended up staying home from work yesterday.

When we got home super-late Sunday night, my ears still hadn’t popped from the plane (and had been hurting the whole second leg from Houston-Detroit) and I was in excrutiating pain. Topping that, my throat and glands were super-swollen.

So I went to the doctor on Monday, and it turns out my eardrums are both bright red and I have a double ear infection and need to see an ENT doc next. The downside of all this — besides the discomfort and pain — is that I can’t exercise for about a week. (The jostling movements could make this ear/throat situation worse, and elevating my heart rate right now was prohibited by my doctor).

Since I don’t want to end up with a recurring problem, I’ll listen to his advice, but I gotta say, it’s not something I wanted to hear; I’m due for my period today and exercising always helps ease my cramps and makes me feel better.

Fortunately, I honestly didn’t overeat on vacation — I ate well, enjoyed plenty of treats, and we walked so, so much … but now this means I won’t be able to meet with the trainer for our last session now until next week, and won’t be able to get her program started.

That said, next week is a new week and my body is clearly telling me something. For once, I’m listening to it.

I hope you all had a safe and healthy week/weekend and I’ll be back to regular blogging once again from here on out.

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16 thoughts on “Fascinated by Flamenco … and Oaxacan Chocolate Tres Leches Cake

  1. You look beautiful. That dress is incredibly flattering on you! (So jealous of your beautiful red hair…it’s natural, isn’t it?)

  2. Welcome back! I’ve had a few vacations like that – I feel so happy to be traveling, and so comfortable, that for once, all of my anxieties go away and I am able to focus on having a good time and living in the moment. I am so happy you were able to enjoy both pieces of that cake! When will you ever get a chance to eat something like that again? You may not!

  3. You look great (I don’t know what you’re thinking when you speak negatively about your body! πŸ™‚ I remember going to Oaxaca in high school- and visiting Monte Alban and El Tule! And eating mole! Did you get to try the iced fruit bars? The name escapes me- maybe something with a m? Mitchulacan? I may be totally off, but I remember having one (or two) everyday for two weeks, and towards the end, deciding that coconut was my favorite flavor!

  4. looks like you had a fantastic time in mexico! im a total facebook creeper & definately had to check out the pictures! i looooove your safari jacket by the way πŸ™‚

    im very glad to read about the oaxacan chocolate cake. i would have done the exact same thing. you only live once, and honestly, how many times will you get to a) go to mexico, and b) have the chance to eat oaxacan chocolate wedding cake? when im on vacation, i have the tendency to look for things out of the ordinary to eat – stuff that i normally wouldnt have the opportunity to try. and although i havent had the chance to have oaxacan chocolate cake, i have found a few winners – and i dont feel nearly as bad as i would if i would have stuffed my face on vacation with something that i could just as easily stuff my face with at home. πŸ™‚

    that sucks about the exercising though 😦 ive been out of the loop of exercising for about a week now but im using my spring break to catch up and tone up. day 1 was good, but i think today may take a little more pushing myself. can you do a little yoga or something? that may help with the cramping. or maybe if you feel up to it..and you aren’t in an area thats getting hit with the snow storm, you could go for a little walk. that usually helps me quite a bit. πŸ™‚

  5. Aw thanks ladies!! And YES, my husband is obsessed with the coconut ones. I love watermelon and had one — you’re right, it’s Michotlacan or something. I had a pic of me there but it wasn’t flattering so I didn’t share it πŸ˜‰

    Baylee, yoga might be ok but I have zero energy right now and since the doc said not to get my HR up at all, I’m going to (for once!) listen to him and not do anything. Oddly, my cycle began today, pain-free. Probably b/c all the pain is in my head, literally, at the moment!

  6. Beautiful pics! Glad you were able to “let go” a bit and enjoy the trip. The cake sounds totally delicious and worth it. I am a firm believer in indulging in that which is truly special vs the candy bar or packaged cookie you can get in any grocery store.
    Rest up and get better, no worries about not starting the training. You will enjoy it even more next week when you are back to normal.

  7. You look gorgeous in your dress! I love it!!!

    How wonderful that you were able to enjoy the great food and company this weekend. I must say, after hearing about that dessert, I DEFinitely would have had at least two pieces!

    Vacations that I can look back on and know that I enjoyed the food and drinks without worrying about calories – THOSE are the vacations I would love to repeat over and over again. πŸ™‚

    Welcome back!

  8. glad to have you back safe and soon to be sound. πŸ™‚ sorry you are feeling ill, but take it easy! traveling is like cardio on the nervous system! especially for us food stressers.

    im so happy for a happy time for you and your pictures were so fun to look through. so colorful and your dresses- HOT!

    careful with yoga now too…inversions can mess with the inner ear and drainage, although a bit of moving might be good to get your lymph system pumped up once you feel a little better.

    have some oatmeal and chamomile tea…and curl up with a book. πŸ™‚

  9. I am so happy that you had a wonderful time. My favorite line…

    “I ate a dessert and lived to tell the tale”. Makes so much sense!

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